KSINC deploys solar-powered hybrid boat for cruise package in Kochi

The state-owned Kerala Shipping and Inland Navigation Corporation (KSINC) has unveiled its solar-powered hybrid boat – Sooryamshu – in the backwaters of Kochi. The air-conditioned ship with a capacity of 100 passengers with upper and lower decks offers travelers the opportunity to cruise along the backwaters, where KSINC proposed the introduction of packages.

The £3.95 million vessel was built at a shipyard in Sri Lanka and is among the few in Kochi to have safety and related features certified by the Indian Shipping Registry. The boat has a diesel generator for backup. There is a conference hall with a DJ floor on the lower deck and a cafeteria with a dining area.

KT Chacko, chairman of KSINC, told reporters that the ship will have a six-hour day cruise package priced at ₹799 per person, in which it will operate in the Marine Drive-Kadamakkudy corridor and later 10km out to sea. In between, guests could disembark at an island, have lunch, and participate in activities like fishing and boating.

In a 7 hour package of £999 they could also visit Kerala Matsyafed Fish Farm in Njarakkal.

This is likely to be the first solar-powered tourist vessel in Kerala and the largest of its kind in the state, he added.

The solar panels have the capacity to generate 27 kw of energy. The hybrid model boat has generators to run the air conditioning and a passenger lift system to facilitate access to the upper deck for people with disabilities and the elderly.

R. Girija, General Manager, said that KSINC already operates cruises in the backwaters with Nefertiti, Sagar Rani-1 and Sagar Rani-2, and soon Sooryamshu will be included in the tour packages.

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